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Windows Phone 7: Impressions and opinions

| February 28, 2011 | 41 Replies

In recent weeks we’ve been through a ton of ups and downs regarding Nokia’s decision to adopt another software platform in their smartphone strategy. In my post on Nokia’s options in the near future I outlined what I believed to have been problems and associated solutions within Nokia and their current smartphone strategy. I outlined the reasons why I felt Nokia would NOT join a Windows Phone ecosystem citing the following major reasons.

  • The thousands of people employed by Nokia that are involved in Qt and Symbian development.
  • Their acquisitions such as Trolltech and Navteq in recent years amounting to billions of Euros worth of investment
  • Nokia’s own mail services, file sharing service, Application store and development frameworks

 

My entire point in that post was that abandoning any or all of the above intrinsic parts of Nokia would have been self-mutilation and likely harmful to their future long term. Having said all of this, in light of recent announcements, I attempted to embark on a journey of enlightenment; attempting to familiarize myself with as many specifics of the deal as have been made publicly available via interviews and presentations, in as objective a manner as possible while also using and familiarizing myself with the current state of the Windows Phone platform and what Nokia’s additions could mean to the platform from the perspective of a Nokia smartphone user (majoritatively) for nearly 5 years.

I picked up  a Samsung Focus (known as the Omnia 7 in Europe) as my test bed device partly because Samsung are known for decent if plasticky hardware and I might hold on to this device for longer than 2 weeks and thus wanted something I found at least passable looking. It sports pretty much the same generic hardware specs as pretty much every other high-end Windows Phone device out there, Qualcomm Snapdragon processor at 1GHz, 512MB RAM and ROM, HSPA, Bluetooth 2.1 etc etc.

There’s a passable 5 megapixel camera with LED flash round back but in comparison to the pictures I took with the N8 the other day, it’s not really much good it’s also capable of 720p video but much like it’s stills, it’s not much to brag about.

Of course the focus in this is the software experience, the possibilities for future Nokia devices and not necessarily the hardware and software or lack thereof available today.

I’d initially thought about telling you about all the issues I had with Windows Phone 7, the little annoyances that borderline break the user experience first,  and then telling you guys about the good aspects of the OS. Knowing you lot, I’d be pretty much pouring lighter fluid on a flame and the good aspects of Windows Phone would be lost in a bunch of tirades and rants directed at Nokia and in particular Elop.

 

TL;DR

Instead I’ll start by saying this; I really like some of what I see in Windows Phone 7, not in the sense that it does more for me than Symbian does or did, but because doing everything is fast, fun and fluid to do and for the most part very, very intuitive. Some of you may dismiss my opinions as typical American, non-power-user gibberish but compared to anything else that I’ve ever used, I like the process of  using Windows Phone 7 the most. If implementing WP7 is easier and faster on the technical side than it is to implement Symbian or MeeGo on similar hardware then I think that Elop and the executive board made the right decision.

What I like about Windows Phone 7:

Setting up my accounts and importing my contacts from Google, Facebook and Hotmail is an absolute breeze, and linking contacts, importing pictures from their social networks and the like is pretty much perfect.

Live tiles, provide as much information as the widgets on Symbian devices. There seems to be better utility in tiles than the widget slots on Symbian with variable sizes etc.

“”Toast notifications” are generally unobtrusive and provide a decent glimpse at the information you want to see. Unfortunately these disappear much too quickly and you cannot recall them after they’ve decided to disappear. In a sense I’d prefer to see them handled in much the same way as WebOS’s notification framework. Hopefully Microsoft will open up this notification method to choice third-parties if they have not already done so.

The keyboard in either portrait or landscape mode is just wow, quick, easy and arguably better than any other virtual keyboard I’ve ever used, ever. The ability to add custom words, a much better text selection and cursor placing mechanism than Symbian and pre-Android 2.3. It really is great to use.

Xbox Live integration and the Marketplace are good, easily on par with Apple’s store and I find the available applications of generally great quality with support for OTA updates to apps  and update notifications (something that has yet to be implemented on the Ovi Store)

Applications are made to fit the User interface. This is not a knock against Symbian app developers and designers but the presence of a consistent usage paradigm that is mandated in order to get placement in the Marketplace is great and something Apple have done a wonderful job of.  It’s simply jarring to go from an App like gravity to the mail or messaging applications on S^1.

Access to search at any point in time via Bing which, given that it’s NOT Google, is surprisingly good.

Built in applications:

Like any phone released in this day and age there are going to be apps that come with the device, some are for very obvious reasons impossible to remove, the odd thing is, there’s no centralized application management app. Coming from Symbian or Android it’s sure to be a particularly confusing omission if not for the fact that a long press on any non-default app will result in its removal. Now on to the meat of the matter.

Email:

As mentioned earlier, setting up Email accounts on the device is a very quick and very easy process. Simply choose the  email provider and your credentials and it takes all of a few seconds on a decent internet connection to start pulling down your emails, contacts and calendar information.

Email can be configured to be pulled down in intervals or as soon they’re delivered to the server as well as the specific content you want downloaded in terms of images, full html et al. Attachments are also supported provided the file format is one that can be opened on device. Unfortunately, the lack of an accessible file system means that document storage is a bit of a mystery.

In any case, navigating and replying to emails is a lot faster and more pleasurable experience than it is on any Symbian^1 or S^3 device I’ve ever used.

Messaging:

Much like any new device these days, messages are displayed as conversations. Strangely enough messages sent and messages received are not differentiable by colour. Why they’d decide to stick with the same colour for both is beyond me, ’tis only an annoyance when trying to track conversations that happened a long time ago or to find a specific message that you sent while scrolling quickly. Haven’t experience any bugs with messages going to the wrong contacts so far though. (looks at Android).

Maps:

Maps is a bit of a mixed bag, locking is pretty fast, the point of interest lists are pretty great, search is impressive (especially voice search) but that’s it in terms of the good. In terms of the bad now.

Maps have to be downloaded on the fly, no local maps is a SERIOUS problem but that has nothing on the fact that there is no turn by turn navigation. “What?!?! ” was my initial response to that knowledge and then I thanked the stars that Nokia is bringing both their mapping software and algorithms to this partnership. I can’t imagine NOT having free, voice-assisted turn-by-turn navigation at this point in the game.

People:

This application is an amalgamation of regular phone contacts and Facebook. Yet somehow, not only does it work, but it works oh so very well. Personally I think this is one of the best (if not the best period) example of integration of social networks into the OS. All it entailed was a simple login to my Facebook and Google accounts and the People hub started pulling down everything and everyone. You’d think it’d be a long process or fraught with bugs but it was nigh-on seamless. Linking phone contacts to their cloud-based compatriots is so very fast and easy compared to the implementation in S^3 with excellent suggestions made based on phone number similarity, name or email address commonality. It truly is a nice implementation. Admittedly, I don’t spend much time on Facebook, but for those that do, this hub will be an indispensable part of their lives. Contact cards are well detailed with as much information as available on these networks being provided with birthday’s et al pulled down as well. What is rather annoying is the fact that it’s a rather annoying process to add multiple mobile-phone numbers to a contact. It necessitates creating a new contact and then merging that contact to an older one. A silly oversight to say the least.

The “What’s new” section is pretty much your Facebook feed and allows you to like or comment on status’ and/or post on friends’ walls. It is surprisingly well implemented and everything you could possibly do on Facebook proper is achievable here without leaving the comfort of the application. The one omission is the ability to send private messages to your contacts which is something that I’m hoping to see rectified soon.

Twitter integration is on tap for the next few months and hopefully things like Skype, Google Chat/talk and a few other social networking/ chat services are integrated as time goes by. Another nice touch would be to only display contacts of a specific type in the hub.

There’s also a “Recent people” section that allows you to quickly get in contact with the people you most recently communicated with and/or looked up.

One annoyance is the absence of a persistent or at least semi-permanent scroll bar. It’s an annoyance felt all over the OS but it’s a particularly annoying pain-point when you have that many contacts to navigate.

Internet Explorer:

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I haven’t touched an Internet Explorer (IE)-based browser since 2004 when I discovered Firefox and since early 2009 I’ve been using Google chrome almost exclusively. The reasons for avoiding IE are simple, it sucked! It was slow, it was buggy, there were so many issues with plug-ins, tons of viruses and spyware targeted attacks using ActiveX. I mean it was really really horrid to use. Imagine my surprise when I found myself using the browser and finding that it ran rings around the default Symbian browser. I mean it’s so much faster than I expected, both in terms of loading, rendering and interaction. It truly is a good mobile browser and doesn’t get bogged down loading even the heaviest of web-pages, even with multiple tabs open at once. Of course the lack of Flash, Silverlight or download manager is rather unfortunate but if it comes at the price of an order of magnitude in usability, I’ll take it (somewhat).

When I was trying out the N8 I would try to load pages like Arstechnica or Anandtech to keep up with appetite for very detailed coverage of technology and science news. Sadly, while I could load these pages just fine on the N8, attempting to interact with the pages was less than pleasant. Between an inability to zoom, lack of responsiveness of the app at all, literally being unable to scroll or do much of anything with the web-page fully loaded (as was the case with Anandtech), it was less than a promising experience.

NB. The N8 was still unresponsive even after turning off Flash, Javascript and closing ALL background applications.


Performance stays the same regardless of the level of zoom and/or the amount information being displayed on the screen and due to much better Javascript performance, things like Disqus actually work. Much like Symbian’s Browser, IE is expected to receive a pretty major upgrade to its rendering engine. This should allow for better HTML5 support and hardware acceleration of some page elements.  In summary the web-browser is one of the better elements of the OS even though it is missing some “key” functionality.


Zune:

Pretty much carried over with little change from the interface on the Zune HD is the Zune app. This app is your go-to place for music, videos, podcasts and radio on Windows Phone devices. The first level of the interface gives you the option of which form of media you wish to access. A quick swipe to the side reveals the currently playing or last played piece of media, tapping it will of course bring you to the album or artist that this media came from. A further swipe will reveal the album art or name of other recently accessed media. Swiping a little further reveals the most recently added media, be it music or video. Going into the music section you’re greeted by a list of albums, swiping gives you a list of albums, swiping again gives you songs and a further swipe leads to your playlists.

For whatever reason, Microsoft decided to not allow users to create playlists on the fly. Worse still, there’s no dedicated playlist for your most played songs, top rated songs, most recently played or recently added songs!!

While the latter two are somewhat mitigated by the front end of the Zune application, that’s in no way an adequate substitute. Put simply, FIX THIS MICROSOFT.

Unlike the Ovi Store in the USA, there’s a very good choice of music in the Zune marketplace and even better integration with the actual Zune software. With a Zune pass (NOT MANDATORY), I can get access to as many songs as my data package and free time allow with unlimited streaming and the ability to download up to 10 of these without any additional charge per month.  Coupled with their “Smart DJ” software, you’re more than likely to be able to get a playlist of music that you want. It should be noted here that unlike other, free music streaming services, you the user will be able to choose what song you listen to and when. Tried out a 14 day trial myself but couldn’t find out how to keep songs for the life of me. Stream quality is pretty good I might add.

I haven’t mentioned album art here before because the Zune application does something really cool with the album art of the songs you choose. Not only does it display album art like pretty much every music capable device these days but it uses the album art as the background for the music player app itself, overlaying the Zune UI on top of this album art. It’s not a necessary touch, but it brings a small smile to one’s face. This album art is also shown in the Zune “live tile” too.

 

As for video, codec support for video is limited but the Zune software for PC that we’ll cover later seemingly trans-codes most video into a WP7 compatible format when transferring them. Video is as you would expect with few frills although increased codec support would be MUCH appreciated in future Windows Phone devices.

 

Marketplace:

As mentioned earlier in the review the Marketplace supports updates and actually notifies users when updates are available via a counter on the Marketplace live tile. Inside the marketplace app itself, there are 4 or 5 broad categories. Carrier specific applications, Manufacturer specific applications, games and of course music.

Digging into the application section a number of broad categories are available. It’s not too different from most other application stores and data loads as fast as I’ve observed on Ovi Store 2.0 (with Qt 4.7 installed, not default 4.6.3). I’ll admit that in my experience, quality applications are easier to find in the Marketplace itself rather than hunting around the internet or serious digging in the Ovi store. Carrier billing is supported via AT&T but I’m not sure what the situation is like outside the USA.

 

Miscellaneous and 3rd party apps:

There are a number of minor applications bundled with Windows Phone 7 like the calendar, alarm clock, calculator, camera, photos, settings, etc. and they all function as one would expect. I’ll specifically mention the calendar app because there are a number of people wholly reliant on Google calendar, mail and other associated services. I can say that Google calendars should sync flawlessly with your device. The calculator deserves a mention because it has some useful scientific calculator functions making it quite easy to perform (more) complex calculations on the fly.

The camera application is rather no-frills and pretty bog standard. Much like the camera on the N8 it restores everything to default once the camera application is closed. *facepalm*

3rd party apps:

Two of the first applications I downloaded were the official twitter and Facebook applications followed closely by Kindle for eBooks and Netflix for watching movies while I lay in bed. For the most part they’re good, some very  good, unfortunately the Achilles heel of all 4 is the lack of adequate support for third-party multitasking and/or a reliable state saving mechanism. I emphasize reliable because on occasion it functions fine and other times, nothing happens and the application has to practically start from scratch. Annoying cannot begin to describe it! In any case, Microsoft need to get their act together, omission of decent third-party multitasking is unforgivable at this point in time.

 

Zune for PC:

There really is only one way to get content on your device and it’s certainly NOT drag and drop. While for some users the simplicity of the mechanism is brilliant, for others, including myself it’s QUITE an annoyance. The Zune software itself isn’t bad, but it’s not much better than Ovi Suite while having significant performance overhead. It’s worse of a resource hog than any other media software on my PC and I think I have a pretty decent one. In any case, it allows for the purchase of applications and other content via an in-app marketplace (much like iTunes) and then pushing these over the cloud to your device.

 

In addition to the regular USB syncing there’s an option for sync-ing over Wi-Fi. It of course requires both devices to be connected to the same 802.11 network and your Windows Phone device has to be charging at the time but it’s a nifty little addition. I personally would have preferred the creation of an ad-hoc wireless connection but that’s bordering on the Bluetooth 3.0 spec so I’m sure there were reasons for the choice.

Strangely there didn’t seem to be an option to back up device content, something which both confuses and worries me.

Wrap-up:

It’s been pretty clear from the onset that Windows Phone 7 is not targeted at the power users that have become accustomed to Maemo’s flexibility or those people that eke out the maximum amount of functionality out of their Symbian devices. Windows Phone 7 in its current iteration is targeted at the masses, the ordinary people that want to do fun, cool stuff with their phones but without much hassle, fuss or complexity. For the most part, I like what I see and am interested to see where it goes under Nokia’s influence but the geeks and nerds that have backed Nokia and Symbian for years are unlikely to pick up these device unless key functionality issues are rectified. Is Windows Phone 7 a bad OS/UI combination?  In my experience thus far, no. Is it a better choice than Symbian, Maemo or MeeGo for the future? I’d be hard-pressed to say yes.

In any case, for a 1.0 OS targeted at regular (non-geek) users, I have to admit it’s a valiant and good effort. Whether it’ll ever climb to the top of the table in both usability and functionality remains to be seen. Regardless of upcoming updates and timing, I will be holding on to this Windows Phone device until Nokia, or someone else releases a device running hardware and software that I feel are worth it.

I’d advise the most skeptical among you to give Windows Phone a try or at least the benefit of the doubt, it really isn’t as bad as it’s been made to seem, in spite of the criticisms I’ve leveled at it.

Be sure to sound off below on ways to make this review and future reviews better and check out my laundry list of bugs/annoyances/missing features post and feel free to help me add to it by leaving your own questions or bugs there.

 

 

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Category: Nokia

About the Author ()

So you've read something I've written. yay!! As you already know, my name is Andre and I'm currently a student based in Atlanta. Much like Jay, I pretty much blog here in my free time. Follow me on twitter @andre1989 or contact me directly at Andre(at)mynokiablog(dot)com. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions.
  • chrom

    Thanks for a good read. The way I see this:

    Windows Phone 7 is currently a smart dumbphone.

    Questions – does the cover art get pulled via net for any mp3 files, namely non Zune purchased content? I have a massive collection of torrented and CD-ripped content from Scandinavian metal bands, and my worry is that WP7 is not smart enough to create cool album art backgrounds for obscure bands. Thanks dude!

    • http://mynokiablog.com/ Andre

      If the album art is in the Mp3 file itself it should be fine…. otherwise you may be out of luck.

      • chrom

        Cool, you mean if the album art is embedded in the ID3 tag it will be in the background? Does the player pull any additional info off the net, or just what you have already? Thankfully my ID tag collection is pristine :)

        Ermm, another request – maybe a video of something WP7 did which really impressed you?

        • http://mynokiablog.com/ Andre

          I’ll put a video up later if I can. Unless you’re streaming it shouldn’t really pull any data.

  • dfa

    Blackberry Playbook can run android apps (it’s official). congrats Rim! Nokia have failed in this mission.

    • Peter

      That would be a mission Nokia never even took, so whatever point you’re trying to make does not make sense.

      • dfa

        This is the problem! One solution IMO to succeed in Symbian/Meego was to allow running android apps but Nokia prefered to go into Microsoft’s arms with less applications than Symbian!

        • http://www.farahfa.com Fadi

          You _really_ need to google this: “Myriad’s Alien Dalvik” or just “Alien Dalvik”..

  • InYourDreamz

    Been using the 5800, N97, C6, C6-01 and N8 :)

    But over the weekend I got myself a HTC Mozart just to have a feel of what a wp7 device would be like … especially for development. The overall experience was pretty sweet, for a regular user so to speak.

    The only grip I have is the horrible battery life on the HTC Mozart. It doesn’t last through the day with minimal usage!

  • http://symbians60soft.blogspot.com Bilal

    This blog really sux now.

    • Rant

      Nonsense, it is the one blog that actually does research and gives unbiased views on stuff. Even when WP7 in it’s current form can’t say anything about what Nokia will release it is good the writers invest their own money in devices to do research and come up with an opinion most of us wouldn’t or don’t want to come up with.

      To quote Andre: ‘I’d advise the most skeptical among you to give Windows Phone a try or at least the benefit of the doubt, it really isn’t as bad as it’s been made to seem, in spite of the criticisms I’ve leveled at it.’

    • Jay Montano

      @Bilal,

      Apologies our content does not suit your taste.

      Do you have any pointers about how we should run as a site? Perhaps your own blog can be an example of how we should do things?
      Please be specific on the parts which suck to help us improve.

    • suri

      Correction: ” I DO NOT LIKE THIS BLOG NOW”

      Do not try and generalize your feelings onto a whole range of people. If you do not like this blog, you can just stop reading.

      On the contrary, If u care so much about this blog that you HAVE to take time to make sure that we get to know your nonconstructive opinion, perhaps you can state what you do not like and maybe Jay and Andre can look into it. Complaining for the sake of complaining is just pathetic.

      • http://symbians60soft.blogspot.com Bilal

        I apologies for my comment. But i don’t like window OS. When nokia announced their partnership with Microsoft and they announced to not use symbian and meego i started crying. I really don’t like windows OS and i wish if board members of nokia change their decision. Once again friends i apologies for my comment.

    • Kent

      And how did you figure that.
      IMHO this blog is great. It is objective and relevant.

  • Matthew

    Sounds like you need to be running Zune desktop in order to be able to get media/data on/off an WP7 device.

    In other words for a WP7 device to be any use at all, you need another device running a full size Windows operating system.

    Fail.

    • suri

      Dude, there is a Mac connector available for Macs. Additionally, all calenders and contacts can be streamed from the cloud. You can also stream music from the Zune app. A lot of functionality available without the need to tether to a PC. You need to research before commenting.

      Seems like you comment is Epic Fail.

      • Cocco Bill

        So how does one move mp3s, jpegs and mkvs to/from WP7 without using Zune? Just drag and drop?

        • http://mynokiablog.com/ Andre

          MKV’s arent supported and there’s no drag and drop without using the debugger AFAIK.
          Using Zune is the primary portal, rather annoying for us.
          Easy for the normob

  • Ravi

    Thanks for the screenshots in the review, it helps a lot in understanding the whole article compared to an article which only contains videos which you cant access when most of your internet surfing is handled by opera mini :-).
    Imho wp7 in its current form looks like a dumbphone os like Nokia’s S40 because the absence of multitasking is a no go for me.
    I hope that when Nokia ship their first wp phone they include all the stuff which us symbian users take for granted like the file manager, app manager, a sync app which syncs with your previous Nokia phone and brings all the contacts and other stuff which you want etc. And the updated windows phone firmware which has true multitasking.
    Also considering the timeframe in which Nokia is promising the first wp phone it shouldnt be that difficult for Nokia to implement the features which I have stated above.
    Thanks!

    • Rick

      Microsoft will want their OS to be as restrictive and unfunctional (if that is a word) as iOS. They will have a beautiful and smooth UI but you will not be the one deciding what you can do with your phone.

      • napier

        That’s why I won’t get one. Seriously, if I can’t customize my phone as I do with Symbian, or if the only place I can get apps is through the “marketplace”, after they’ve been approved, I’m done with Nokia.
        I love the openness and functionality of Symbian, ditching that for a closed, limited OS that’s really pretty seems like such a betrayal of core principles.
        Probably too early to judge though. I’m pessimistically hopeful. :-)

        • http://mynokiablog.com/ Andre

          They limited the access of apps for two main reasons, piracy (was rather easy to do I hear) and simplicity.

          Not saying it’s the right approach (I like being able to sideload and manage my files) but it’s an understandable one

  • http://micronokiadev.wordpress.com/ bluechrism

    Thanks – a good read. Obviously we had the new Symbian OS image from that chinese conference the other day and it will be interesting to see what that’s like when it comes out, and if any of these changes can improve Symbian’s usability.

    A long shot, but could it be Symbain / Maemo/ Meego for power users and WP for the masses in future? Probably not, but as an N900 user, as much as I would love Netflix, XBox gaming and a great music service, some of the limitations are still quite big for me. Shame – I’m a .Net Developer and Silverlight is the kid brother to WPF which is what i’m paid to be working on right now, so I should be able to easily get into app development for the platform.

    The sad truth is, Nokia missed a few tricks when they did maemo, reviewers mostly liked the UI, which has great cusomization, the Skype and IM integration is fantastic and the task switcher is better than any video i’ve seen of another platforms implementation. It suffered from lack of Portrait (doesn’t WP do landscape?), a resistive screen, and a concern – totaly founded, that Nokia were not serious about pushing the platform.

    Oh, and if i read a WP review, almost anywhere else if it compares it to anything, it will be IPhone. Thanks for writing how this compares to using Symbian.

    I know Bilal is dissaoppointed, but this is the best blog for nokia news on the web.

  • jammy

    Well according to me WP7 after mango updates in october and with release of version 2.0 wll be on par with the other phone OS in the market, all android fan boys shud remember one thing that when first version of android was released then it lacked most of basic features which even some low end nokia phones had at that time, nw also google is releasing major version OS one in three months and minor updates every 10-20 days, and above all no manufacturers is passing the updates to consumers; if it wasnt for the xda forum all the android users would still be lacking the basic of functionalities….. Compare to this WP7 in its first vesrion has come out with lots of features….and mayb when Nokia will release their first WP7 device then most of annoyances would hav been removed by microsoft-Nokia team; bcoz Nokia knows what its users want frm their phones………. I thnk some of functionalities locked by Microsoft was due to their scepticism that hackers would try to ruin their hard work by making viruses for their WP7 as they r making viruses for their desktop OS, so mayb to make WP7 more safe and secure some basic functionalities are locked, they r treading the same way as apple in this regard, i am also using iphone nw along with E71 and N-95 8gb and feel that iphone is most secure device i had used tll now, i havent experienced any virus problem with iphone till nw, bcoz there is no memory card slot in it, file transfer from desktop requires itunes, so chances of virus attacking the phone is very less…….mayb i thnk WP7 is aslo very secure like iphone due to these limitations…………… And above all Microsoft has said they will bring 3rd part multitasking in future updates this yr., copy paste is coming nxt month, HTML5 support in browser is also coming, Plus using ur WP7 as controller for playing games on X-box will also be introduced in future, and many more functionalities will be brought to WP7 by nokia, like integrating ovi stores with microsoft’s marketplace, nokia ovi maps etc…….. So we shud just wait and hope for first nokia WP7 device, instead of bitching and complaining about WP7………..
    And guys dnt worry if wp7 becomes popular due to their partnership with nokia then mayb it wll attract jailbreakers to develop the ways to go around and play with the features locked by microsoft, just like iphone type; and then we can hav all the functionalities on our nokia wp7 devices which are locked by microsoft, becoz wp7 phones because of their minimum hardware criteria laid down by microsoft, are capable of doing everythng which microsoft has locked at moment….. So we shud wait with our finger crossed for first Microkia device…..

  • Deaconclgi

    Andre, according to your maps picture, you were/are in the Atlanta area. Small world eh? I am slightly north of that area.

    Nice article by the way. I demoed an HD7 upon release and I was impressed by the fuidity of the UI and the ease of use. Of course, being a Maemo and Symbian user, WP7 currently is too limited in it’s OS feature set to be my everyday phone.

    I can however, appreciate what WP offers and hope to see improvements in it’s core functionality over the next year.

    Keep up the great work.

    • http://mynokiablog.com/ Andre

      Still am, Are you like Marietta, Smyrna North??

      • Deaconclgi

        Alpharetta/Johnscreek

        • http://mynokiablog.com/ Andre

          Ah! I’ve never been much further north than Roswell but I’ve been meaning to go a little further North to get out of the city for a weekend

  • http://rafaelinux.com.ar rafaelinux

    You left the most important parts off. What about file management, galleries, video and audio formats supported, options, ability to rotate the interface 360º, skinning, themes, backgrounds, unique ringtones for contacts, etc… :\
    You only talked about internet. And I don’t even use internet on my phone :\

    • http://mynokiablog.com/ Andre

      Every individual has different use cases.

      Theming is not really possible due to the fact that there are no icons so to speak. You can change the color and accents of the live tiles though.

      The interface rotates when it makes sense to do so but it’s primarily portrait and tbh I don’t mind that.
      But in any case, rotation support, when it does rotate is to both horizontal directions.

      There’s no file management system which sucks but seeing as how I’ve rarely had use for it on a day-to-day basis it was mentioned but not FOCUSED on.

      Backgrounds are always black, always and tbh I don’t mind that but lock screen images are user changeable.

      I don’t have many audio formats bar aac or mp3 so I guess that was an oversight on my part.
      Video format is wholly irrelevant and was mentioned somewhere in the 3500 words above.
      There are unique ringtones for contacts but strangely mp3’s cannot be used for ring tones.

      Now if you’ve read all of what I wrote and concluded that all I spoke about was the internet then I apologize.

  • B Jay

    Great blog! Good work!

  • Just Visiting

    Good summary, Andre (and I’m glad that you don’t hate WP7 despite its limitations)! Your review really is straightforward and informative. You, Jay, and team seem to be very objective, and that garners a lot of respect from me. I will certainly recommend this blog to others interested not only in the future of Nokia/WP7, but also to those who could benefit from knowing Nokia’s history and current successes. Keep up the good work!

    • Andre

      Thanks, you guys’ feedback is very important to us. Glad you took the time to read through it all and even liked it.
      Appreciate you spreading the word about us, we’d love more people like you around the blog

  • Keith

    First of all, GREAT article, Andre. I read it this morning but totally forgot to comment :P

    But yes, it was a very thorough overview of WP7 and I liked it much better than any WP7 articles I’ve read on blogs like Engadget or Gizmodo :)

    Now I have to agree with you, despite all the annoyances found in this OS, i really think Microsoft has done an amazing job at WP7. the UI is fresh and easy to use. And like you mentioned, for a 1.0 OS, this is a really great job. I definitely think it’s better than iOS 1.0 or Android 1.0. And as long as Microsoft promises to deliver significant updates in time, I’d be happy to see Nokia and Microsoft walk hand in hand. Now simple tasks as bluetooth file transfer, Application manager, multitasking, custom ringtones and wallpapers are absent; which makes the OS quite immature but still, as mentioned, it’s a great effort at a 1.0 OS.

    And since Nokia has partnered up with Microsoft, I’m hoping to see some of the functionality we’ve always seen in our boved symbian devices ported on to WP7 effectively. That combined with Nokia’s amazing hardware should give the world a serious competitor :)

    • Keith

      in our beloved*

  • Jorge Arturo

    If I buy a smartphone is because I want to do smart stuff with it, 4 years ago my smartphone took the place of my laptop in work trips, no longer have to carry another bag with a pc, because my phone was smart enough, WP7 is a nice looking dumbphone, if I only want to do dumb thing, I’ll buy it, but I want all the power of the smartphones, being able to plug my phone to any pc and share files, do several things at the same time (multitasking) like downloading and important file from the web, while writing and email, and consulting a word file to write the mail, may be also playing music at the same time.

    The things WP7 does, it does nice, but there are a lot of thing it does not do, and that is the problem for me, in the last 3 years I have bought 7 Nokia smartphones, all great, all very functional, all with new owners that like them since are very usefull. My iPhone was sold after a three weeks because I could not send emails with different attachments on it, I could not use bluetooth to share filea with my pc or other devices, and WP7 is just like the iOS of 2007, not even the current version.

  • dfa

    “He is indeed a Trojan horse sent by Microsoft to Nokia. So far all actions of the new CEO are aimed at the deliberate destruction of Nokia, its portfolio, market share and value. ”

    http://www.mobile-review.com/article…i-108-en.shtml

  • Pingback: What Symbian features could you not live without? : My Nokia Blog()

  • http://www.squidoo.com/buy-angry-birds Cloa23

    Many people who tried WP7 seems to really like it. As Nokia Symbian user, I hope they succeeded in producing a good, user friendly experience because that is what symbian is sorely lacking. Great post…

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